Members of the MCTC African American Education Empowerment Program (AME) and MCTC Director of Diversity Whitney Harris were invited to visit Itasca Community College (ICC) earlier this month for a day of professional development.
Representatives from ICC had visited MCTC’s AME program last semester, and invited Dr. Harris and the students to speak in light of increasing enrollment of students of color at ICC.
MCTC students from the AME program delivered presentations to ICC faculty and staff and participated in panel discussions addressing teaching in diverse classrooms and managing institutional diversity.
During the panel, MCTC AME student Michael Elliot encouraged ICC faculty and staff to use the experiences each student brings to the classroom as learning opportunities.
“You have to be aware of the needs of your diversifying student population,” Elliot said.
Harris believes both the MCTC AME students and ICC faculty and staff learned from each other by having the opportunity to share their knowledge and stories.
“The students were able to integrate what they had learned at MCTC through their own experiences and teach these college employees about it,” Harris said.
MCTC AME student and tutor Jeodaun Lee described the experience as “a slice of humble pie.” “They rolled out the red carpet for us and wanted to learn,” he said.
“ICC was very receptive of what we had to offer in the realm of diversity and administrative and faculty connection to the student body,” said Elliot.
AME is expected to make a return to ICC in the spring to hold a similar conversation with students.
Photo: The MCTC delegation at Itasca Community College on a frigid January day. From left to right: Michael Elliot, Clay Bradbury, Ronnie Russell-Bey, Jeodaun Lee, Whitney Harris